Friday, December 16, 2011

Goodbye, Hitch

Although I disagreed with some of his opinions, I will miss his voice in the atheist world.  He was one of the few outspoken atheists not to come from academia or the sciences.  His  voice was the voice of the common sense human being who looks at the world's superstitions and the damage done and says "This is crap."

Of course as an atheist blogger who isn't a scientist I appreciate that voice.  I also admire his way with words and I believe he opened the door for other voices to join in.  With Dawkins and Hawking we have representatives of the "answers" that counter the creationist worldview.  A lot of believers take the Genesis story with a grain of salt, anyway, so we need to point out the many other reasons why religion is false.  Hitch took on the "Religion does good things" meme. 

His "God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" was one of the "New Atheist" books of the past few years.  I had never heard of him until I picked up that book.  It's worth the read just for his writing style, but also gives you plenty to ponder.  I'm a fan of religious art and music, and I have often had to deal with friends who point out "If it weren't for religion Bach wouldn't have comnposed his B Minor Mass!"  [so there].  It's tedious to have to point out that Bach composed a lot of secular music and DaVinci's Mona Lisa is just as important as the Sistene Chapel ceiling.  Without religion, Bach and DaVinci would still have been great artists, just not with religious themes.

So... I don't necessarily believe that religion poisons everything but I admire Hitch for expressing himself and showing another side of the atheist spectrum.  He will never be replaced, but his niche will be filled by some of the people he inspired.

8 comments:

Tristan D. Vick said...

I already miss him!

So sad. I felt compelled to write my own reflections down as well.

Hitchens will be missed.

ex-minister1 said...

A sad day. Will miss his voice as well.
I do believe religion poisons everything, perhaps it varying degrees. How can belief in magic as if it was real do really anything else?

A life well spent and an real inspiration.

Infidel753 said...

We've known for some time that this was coming, of course.

Even though he's no longer here, his writings and speeches will continue to be a force for sanity in the world.

Bud said...

Very sad, and I too miss him. We knew this was coming, but that doesn't soften the blow.

L.Long said...

We can take heart in the fact that like Carlin, Hitch will still be here in his numerous books, and videos. I have most of Carlin on DVD and it would be a good thing to get Hitch on DVD as well.

krissthesexyatheist said...

I didn't agree with everything he said, but i did agree with most of what he said. My fear is that there will be no one to step in his place. I couldn't be the pitbull that he was...i don't have the chops. Who, who who will be the next one. hopefully many....

Kriss

LadyAtheist said...

His books & youtube videos live on. Perhaps he changed perceptions enough that the next gen of pitbulls won't need to be so ferocious. We no longer have a sanctimonious fundy president nor a sanctimonious fundy enemy (bin Laden). I think those two spurred a lot of the "new atheism" movement.

B.R. said...

I think religion poisons everything but to different degrees, and certain religions are more poisonous in general than others.